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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
r/ J*'.5 ,3 fl- 7/,3/74, -
INTERVIEWER: Lew Barton
INTERVIEWEE: Peggy Overstreet
February 27, 1975 dib
B: This is February 27, 1975. I'm Lew Barton interviewing for the
University of Florida's American Indian Oral History Program. This
morning)having been shooed out of the kitchen because of a lot of
preparation there and noise and so on, I'm around here in the front
office of the aAi-SerSIMt^m meESa h American Indian Study Center
in B'En+imrr- br
at 211 South BroadwayA With me is a young lady who has just begun
her employment here at the center and we'd like to get better
acquainted with her if we can persuade her to come over to the
mike and talk to us a little bit. I think she's a little bit on
the shy side. I think most Indian women are just a little bit shy,
at least some of them are, and I think this is a very attractive
characteristic. But would you mind telling us what your name is,
0: My name is Peggy Overstreet.
B: Peggy Overstreet. That last name is spelled O-v-e-r-s-t-r-e-e-t, right?
B: hkeir, d3LEt2 where do you live at here in Baltimore?
0: I live at 3 South Chester Street.
B: 3 South Chester. Those are very small numbernthis must be at the
head of the street oemaSB or the beginning of it.
Page 2. dib
0: Yes, it is. It's the first house off of Baltimore Street.
B: _tMii how long have you been living in Baltimore?
0: I've been here about eleven years.
B: QfUli s would you mind telling us who your parents are?
0: Mrs. Tessie Overstreet, and she is now deceased, and my father, he
died when I was about two and a half years old. His name was Gaete
B: Oh, I'm sorry. Do you have an brothers or sisters?
0: Yes, I have two brothers and two sisters. My oldest brother is
Robert Overstreet. He lives in Lumberton, North Carolina. He's
thirty-five years old. And my baby brother is twenty-five, he lives
in Lewisville, Pennsylvania. Then my older sister is Janice Fay
Locklear. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She has been here for
about twelve years now. And my baby sister is twenty-eight years
old, Sandraa Carter. She lives in Baltimore, too, and she's
been here about seven years.
B: I don't like to ask a lady her age, but do you mind telling us how
old you are?
0: am thirty years old.
B: Ib Liz said you didn't like to, but you would, O.K.
0: =W. you can put just sweet sixteen if you want to.
B: Elizabeth Locklear. Well, how long do you say you've been living here?
0: I've been here about eleven years.
B: -v*tlU; do you see any difference in living here and living back home in
Page 3. dib
Oi:1 Yes, I see a lot of difference because places up here are so close
1 at when you get ready to go out you don't need a car to go
places here and do your shopping and things like that. And down
in North Carolina you have to have a way of going because the
towns are way off from your homes and all, especially if you
live out in the country.
B: Do you get the head spin feeling, like you're fenced in or something,
living here, or have you gotten used to that?
0: I've got used to that.
B: You don't really feel like you're in a prison or something because
there's so many buildings and so on-surrounding you.
0: No, I don't. I feel like I'm lost, though, when I go back home in the
B: What kind of feeling do yo ave when you get back home?
0: I don't know. E Ei I feel pretty good when I get back there because
I know I have a way of going when I get there. But if I didn't have
a way of goingI don't believe I really would want to go down there.
B: When you stay a while do you get homesick for Baltimore?
0: No, not really because a lot of times I'll be having good times and
I don't think about Baltimore.
B: You know a lot of people? tan you have a lot of friends in North
0: Yes, I do.
B: That's nice. What do your brothers and sisters do? What kind of work
do they do?
Page 4. dib
0: Well, my oldest brother works on a farmyn-a my baby brother works
for the governmentran I have one sister( works in a factory, and
my other sister, she just works in a grocery store.
B: "-ZThF, is there some kind of job in Baltimore do you think that
most of our Indian people work at? A good manjpeople work as painters,
0: Yes, and roof. .
0: Roo ng.
B: oofing, h.
0: Uh huh.
B: Roofing. Are there other trades that they follow usually in large...
0: Well, there are a lot of carpenters, too.
B: TWnTl yOu y) do you think maybe that these are the predominant occu-
pations, painting, roofing, carpentry?
0: Yes, especially for the men, mostly.
B: EEets, how about the girls? Do they find it hard to get work here,
do you think?
0: -Well, right now with all these layoffs,they do. But when I first came
to Baltimore it was easy to get a job, or it was for me.
B: "-Waiah, what kind of jobs did you work at?
0: Mostly factory work.
B: Mostly. How long have you been at the American Indian Study Center?
0: About two days.
B: What is your position here?
Page 5. dib
0: Neighborhood development assistant.
B: '-"Slth, that's good. We have lots of needs in that area. Are you
a church goer?
0: I go to church every once in a while.
B: Do you have a certain church you go or do you just go...
0: ...I've been over to the West Cross Church a couple of times/and then
I went over to the church on the corner of Baltimore and Chester Street,
right there from my home.
B: Ueta1i what's the name of that church?
0: I think it's a temple, Temple Holiness Church? Baptist.
B: -;fiEBB, is it predominantly Indian?
0: Well, they also J/Pft LdJ 5OS4 flerc.
B: Right. What denomination is this? Pentecostal or Baptist? Is it
0: I think it's Baptist.
B: Do you plan to spend the rest of your life in Baltimore Staeat?
0: I don't think so.
B: How do you say Baltimore?
B: They tell me that people who are native of this city, they say Baltimore
-ity or Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland. And I always said Baltimore.
But I'm trying to learn, you know, and pronounce it the way that they
do. Am I doing all right at it?
Page 6. dib
0: No, you sound good going...
B: -WhaiL he-l what are the plans around here? I noticed in the
kitchen a while ago)before I got shooed out ney're cooking around
ther3LaE=ah., we're trying to raise funds aren't we?
0: Yesh- Ir.
B: This is characteristic of the community I think, don't you? That people
work together and do things together. Do you think they're closer
among our people than among other communities?
0: I think so.
B: You're a young lady. How do you benefit by the women's lib movement?
Do you think the women's lib movement has reached the Indian community
yet? Seecrwet got an/Indian women libbers?
0: I don't really know.
B: Or you haven't heard anything about it?
0: I haven't heard anything.
B: Well, I don't think-4 bmS, but I wanted to check it and see. I don't
think our women make good women's libbers. How do you feel about the
family? The family structure, do you think the man should be the ab-
solute head of the family, woman or share". or what?
0: I think it should be shared myself.
B: Well, that's good. I sort of believe that, too. It should be a partner-
ship, shouldn't it?
0: It should.
B: What do you think about so-called generation gap? You know, people say
Page 7. dib
there's a generation gap. Young people and older people can't talk
together. You don't find this difficulty, do you?
0: No, I don't.
B: Good. Do you think you'll live here all your life/or have you any
plans for moving back to North Carolina?
0: Well, I'm thinking about moving back oret sbmewheres else.
B: Why is it because there aren't as many opportunities now perhaps
as there were?
0: No, I guess I've just stayed here long enough. I just want to get
out and go somewhere else.
B: Maybe you're like Lew, you've got itchy feet.
o: s-Ul4-oh r! Ce.i }
B: No, I don't like to stay put too long, but I don't like to get my feet
stuck in the concrete permanently either. I don't know. Do you
get homesick for North Carolina?
0: Every once in a while. But I go down there often enough. I don't get
B: Is it easy to get a ride between here and North Carolina?
B: Somebody going home practically every weekend, don't you think?
About how far is it from here to North Carolina?
0: Well, I've heard some say it was four hundred, four hundred and fiftyA
but I haven't really, og aFmri.checked to see how many miles it really
B: x*-Tfh. Well, you've been very kind to give us this interview and I do
Page 8. dib
know I'm getting the sign from you that you would like to end the inter-
view and so we'll respect thalVaj I want to ask you one more thing,
though. If you had your wish, any wish you wanted- about changing
anything related to the Indian people at all what would you wish to
see changed in relation to Indian people? Would you like to think
about that for a moment?
0: Well, I would love to see them get all the things that they had before
the white man took it away from them,,like all their land and things
B: Itn are you very proud to be an Indian?
0: Yes, I am.
B: Have you had any problems in Baltimore simply because you're an Indian,
do you think?
0: No, because a lot of people ask me because of my last name, I guess,
because see my father was Irish and my mother was Indiap but I go
as an Indian and a lot of people ask me, say, "Well, you're not
Indian are you?" because of my last name. I say, "Yes, just because
my last name is Overstreet don't mean I'm not India&" -eeid., -oaoaae
I didn't know too many people on my father's sideand he was Irish,
because he died when I was young, and I said, "I've always went with
Indianiand I always will."
B: Do you think being an Indian is an asset 6r a liability? Is it in our
favor or is it against us 4e you think?
01 I really don't know.
Page 9. dib
B: Is there anything you'd like to say to anybody back home?
0: No, just hope everybody's well and getting along good.
B: Fine. Well, thank you so much. You've been very kind in granting
us this interviewand we've enjoyed it very much. Thank you so
very much, 4PirsSOverstreet.
0: %Ym welcome.
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